My New Desk

At long last, I'm unveiling the desk I made in last semester's furniture class. The surface is plywood topped with hardboard. Here's how I made it. First, I found a table with rounded corners that I liked and made a template of the curve by placing a sheet of paper over it and tracing it with a pencil. Then I used that template to mark the corners on my piece of plywood and hardboard, making sure to leave the hardboard 1/4" larger than the plywood. Then I sanded the corners to shape (on a disc sander... not by hand) and filed them until they were smooth. Then I glued the hardboard to the plywood, leaving a little bit of overhang on all sides. The odds that I would have gotten these two pieces exactly the same size and shape in the rounded corners would have been slim. By leaving the hardboard slightly oversize, I was able to use a router fitted with a trim bit to cut the hardboard flush with the edges of the plywood.

It took a long time to find the legs I had in mind. The idea was to recreate the institutional looking desks from high school in a modern style. These fit the bill perfectly as they had that classic, tapered leg design but come in black. Plus, the quality for how much they cost is outstanding. Steel, baby. They were very easy to place and screw in... or they probably were. Due to time constraints, my teacher had to do that part for me. Thank you, teacher John!

The pieces holding the keyboard tray are held in place by glue and dowels. The only thing I wish I'd done differently is to use nicer slides. I used some cheap, Ikea slides (made by Hafele) that came from my old desk, which I found on the street. I can always change those out later though. Then I sanded that sucker down, carefully and thoroughly. It's always tempting to rush through the finishing but I really took my time on this one. I put about seven coats for polyurethane finish on it. I went through two spray cans before I realized that I should have just bought the big can to brush on the polyurethane. So, four coats of spray and three coats brushed on. It shines. Oh, how it shines.
My next problem was dealing with the crazy tangle of cords behind the desk I have a fair amount of recording equipment so things get complicated. I came up with this pegboard-with-a-cleat solution. All in all, consider me pleased.

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